Growing In


“Let perseverance finish its (perfect) work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4 TLV)

One of my favorite hobbies is gardening. I love to see things grow – don’t you? Each year on a significant day in my life, some friends in my neighborhood have presented me with a bouquet of the most beautiful Calla Lillies. So, some months ago, I carefully transplanted the collection of bulbs into a large pot. Then daily I would run down to my porch to see if anything had sprouted. Month after month no signs of life whatsoever! After a frantic Internet search, I learned the seedling stage is vital in the lifespan of the plant and cannot be rushed. Six months later, I began to recognize the need for the tiny sprouts to develop strength to push their way through the soil and break through toward the sun. Just a couple of weeks ago, one morning I detected a tiny speck of green creeping through the soil. Then in the following days more specks of green were to be seen – oh, what joy!

Sometimes we thrive amidst the victories and triumphs in our life. However, growth in our character often comes through tough times and struggles. Here the advice is to “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds.” (James 1: 2) Your response like mine may be: but what could possibly be delightful about trials? The lesson is: God sometimes allows us to go through challenges and hardships, frustration and failure so that we can be molded into who He’s called us to be. He waits in anticipation for us to come out of the trials of life “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4) In His wisdom, He provides the nourishment we need to break through the hard ground and flourish. (John 15:5) The Greek word for “perfect” (TELEIOS) reflects the Biblical idea of the growth or development of our faith to the point of spiritual maturity.

Today what trials have you been working through? Sometimes the trials we face seem unbearable. But Father God gives us the strength to persevere and enables us to grow in faith and develop into the fruit-bearing children of God we are called to be.

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